Friday, December 22, 2006

One of the few thing I like about Christmas

My posts have been fairly rare lately and when I have posted, it's usually been about something fairly vapid or at any rate, something not really pertaining to my depressing life. What with this being a rather busy time, what with essays and exams, I haven't been up to much actually and I guess this is reflected in the blogging. I'm sure there are a few things I'd like to get off my chest, but I've been too preoccupied to even thing in depth about them. This post will again be something fairly light, as I had an exam the other day, little sleep and a full day today, plus an appointment, Christmas shopping and work tomorrow.

Now I'm really not big on Christmas, much of it had to do with my very shitty family situation at the time, but I'm not going to get into that. One of the few things I do like about this time of year, is many of the Christmas songs. In fact, I've made a 2 CD compilation called "Super Christmas" of what I feel are the 50 (!!) best Christmas tracks of all time. If anyone wants a copy, please let me know and I'll be happy to rip you one (for archival purposes, of course). Of those 50, I've come up with what I feel are the ten best and will present them to you in order here. I'll be happy to hear any other suggestions (likely I have them on my list of 50) and at any rate, I'll be back before Christmas to wish you all a good one at any rate.

10. Chris Rea- Driving Home For Christmas. A really nice and somewhat obscure song by English singer-songwriter Rea, just a very simple and beautiful Christmas story, with a great shimmering piano part.

9. Luciano Pavarotti- O Holy Night. An old standard of course, but it's still a beauty and done to perfection by one of the great vocalists of all-time.

8. Simon & Garfunkel- Seven O'Clock News / Silent Night- Another beautiful classic song, done by a great vocal group, but with a very moving and really jarring modern twist. The juxtaposition between the serene vocals and the stark reality of the modern world is really something else.

7. Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band- Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Man, when I saw him live (floor seats!) a few years ago, it was in December and during the encore, people were throwing Santa hats up on stage and he did this as his last song...damn, best show I've ever seen. The Boss is awesome.

6. Elvis Presley- Here Comes Santa Claus- Elvis had more more well known holiday hits, but I really love his gentle and laid back version of this song. Bouncy and pretty and while it seems a little trite at first, it's actually pretty poignant.

5. Johnny Mathis- I'll Be Home For Christmas- Great World War II era song, it's been done by a hundred million different artists, but for my money, no one nails it quite like Johnny Mathis does.

4. Nat King Cole- The Christmas Song- Man, what a voice. I don't know why people even bother remaking this song, no one is even going to come CLOSE to this perfect version that still has the power to make folks misty eyed during the holiday season.

3. David Bowie and Bing Crosby- Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth- Watch the video and while it may be totally surreal, I think that it's a truly beautiful song, one of my very favourite duets and great hopeful song.

2. Judy Garland- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas- Stick to the original from the movie Meet Me in St. Louis and with the unaltered melancholy lyrics. She had such a great voice and this song breaks your heart and yet offers hope at the same time.

1. Greg Lake- I Believe In Father Christmas- Misused in various commercials, I still don't know what to make of this song, whether I take a from it a sense of optimism or not. It probably makes me think more than any other Christmas song I know and has one of the great lines of all-time, "The Christmas we get we deserve". The one thing I do know, is that despite all my grumblings and unhappiness this time of year, I do believe in Father Christmas and pray that one year he'll be good to me.


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